5 Best Baby Products for a Traveling Minimalist

As an interior decor blogger, I don’t normally discuss baby products despite the topic being directly related to our home.  As someone that gets energy from the feeling of order in her surroundings, I absolutely did not want my home to feel like the inside of a Babies R’ Us after having children.  I feel like I read hundreds of “best baby products” blog posts when I was pregnant, but it was hard for me to find one directed at minimalists.  The first 8 months of my daughter’s life we lived in a smallish condo in downtown Washington D.C., and I didn’t want to clutter it with a ton of baby products.  We also knew that we wanted to travel so we wanted products that could be used for a variety of situations.  After 10 months in the “parenting trenches”, these are the baby products that I absolutely love and would buy again.

  1. Baby Stroller: Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller ($279.99, but we bought ours on Zulilly for $150)

I’ve heard mixed reviews on this stroller, but we absolutely love it.  Our home in D.C. required us to walk up or down a flight of stairs every time we wanted to go out with the stroller, so a lightweight, easy-to-close stroller was a necessity.  The one-handed close has been incredibly useful for us in both the city (going up and down those stairs) and at the airport when gate-checking the stroller with a squirmy infant in our arms.  It only weights 18 pounds so it wasn’t too difficult for me to close up and carry a few weeks after my c-section.  Additionally, I appreciated that the back folds down almost completely flat, making it safe for newborns.  We purchased the Graco carseat adapters so that we could click our infant seat onto the top (fabulous for street parking and zipping through the airport).  We also bought the tray attachment since we use the stroller as a makeshift high chair when we are out traveling or at a restaurant without high chairs.  My main gripe about this stroller is that the basket is smaller than I’d prefer.  Living in a city with a baby means that the stroller basket is also the shopping basket so I wish that Baby Jogger could have found a way to put a much larger basket under the stroller.  Despite this flaw, I love that its heavy duty wheels hold up beautifully to the cobblestone streets of Italy, and I can steer it easily with one hand if I happen to be holding a baby and pushing around groceries that are heaped up INSIDE my stroller.

2. Baby Car Seat: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat ($142.87, but we purchased ours on sale for $120)

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A lot of people have very strong opinions about car seats, and I completely understand why: car accidents are incredibly common, and these contraptions save lives.  That being said, I knew that my daughter would not use a “bucket seat” for a long time so I didn’t want to splurge on an expensive one.  I also knew that all car seats sold in the US have to pass the same safety tests.  After reading numerous car seat reviews, we decided that it was the right seat for us based on its weight.  At only 7.5 pounds, this car seat is one of the lightest on the market.  When you have to park several blocks away from your home in the city or carry this through a crowded airplane (It IS safe for use on airplanes.), we appreciated that it was much lighter than other models.  Being inexpensive and lightweight DOES have its drawbacks though, this car seat does feel less “plush” than other models and rethreading the harness straps is a bit less convenient than other models.  We found installation to be a breeze though, and I love how simple it is to install without the base for taxi rides while traveling.

3.  “Diaper Bag”: Skip Hop Pronto Signature Portable Changing Mat ($29.99)

As a hoarding wannabe minimalist, I knew I was not to be trusted with a large diaper bag.  I would stuff it full of alllllll the things and never be able to find anything I actually need.  When I saw my friend carrying around this cute, little clutch for her infant, I knew it was exactly what I needed.  I have used this thing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  When we travel, this is the only item I carry on the plane for my daughter (plus a spare onesie in my purse).  I can also clip it onto my stroller and use it as my purse, as well.  I stick hand sanitizer, my keys, money, and my ID in the outer zipper.  Inside, it has a section for wipes, another zipper section for diapers (I can fit 6 in there!) and diaper cream, and a foldout, wipeable changing pad with a built-in pillow.  As a germaphobe I love that this thing fits perfects in the airplane bathroom for changing, and I even use it around our home as the changing table.  It’s WAY easier to wipe off than our fabric-covered changing pad.

4. Travel Crib: Graco Pack N Play Nimble Nook ($62.99)

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I’m obsessed with this travel crib!  It’s half the size of standard pack n plays so it takes up much less space.  We kept it in our bedroom when our daughter was a newborn, and she slept in the bassinet portion of it.  In the bassinet mode, it also has a vibration feature to soothe young babies although we didn’t use it.  It also has wheels and is narrow enough to be rolled through doorways so we’d roll it around the house to keep an eye on her.  When our daughter was 5 weeks old, we took our first mini-vacation with her, and this crib was perfect for the hotel room.  When we moved to Italy, we flew with this (it’s lighter and smaller folded than a standard pack n play), and it’s been great in our hotel.  We even fill it with plastic balls to create a ball pit for our daughter!  I’ll add that the sleeping pad for this model is difficult to clean, but luckily mini crib sheets will fit this perfectly.  We bought a waterproof, quilted mini crib sheet that solves that issue easily.

5. High Chair: Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat, $44.99

I’m embarrassed to admit that we splurged a bit on a much more expensive high chair.  When we moved to Italy, someone gave me this seat to use at the hotel, and it is SO much better!  I wish I’d had this seat from the very beginning.  Skip the Bumbo and the Sit-Me-Up.  This seat supports under the baby’s entire thigh to help early sitters just practice sitting.  It straps onto your existing chairs, and the blue infant insert can be removed to turn it into a booster for older kids.  The tray can even be stored inside the seat when not in use!  Cleaning this seat is ridiculously easy.  We either wipe it off with a wet rag or pull out the infant insert and wash it off in the sink.

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DIY Kitchen Island Ideas

We have been house hunting (here, here, and here) for a while in Southern Italy, and we finally found a home (really an apartment).  We’re probably crazy for the place that we chose since our budget (given to us by my husband’s company) allowed us to get a large home on the beach or a penthouse with a huge rooftop and water view.  Instead, we went way under budget and chose a place that was deep in the city and had no view at all.  It also needs some sprucing up!  However, living in DC taught us that location was EVERYTHING when it came to daily life.  I can walk to five grocery stores, numerous restaurants and shops, two gyms, a park, and three “mommy and me” classes from this apartment!  Anyways, on to important things… like kitchens.

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The kitchen in our new place is rough to say the least.  It’s a long, narrow space with cabinets along one wall, no counter space for prep, and a kitchen table in the middle of the room.  Currently, the refrigerator is stuck like a sore thumb beside some cabinets randomly.  The kitchen is also not all on one level, since there is a weird step up to the wall of cabinets.

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Since we tend to eat dinner in our dining room, we decided to forgo the kitchen table and try to turn the space into an “American style” kitchen.   We’d like to add some cabinets to the far wall of the kitchen and move the refrigerator to that space.  We’re not interested in spending a lot of money since this is a rental, so we’ll most likely be repurposing these cabinets from our home in DC.  We’d also like to build a DIY kitchen island (with STORAGE!) for the center of the room with pieces that can be taken apart and reused in future homes.  We’re going to push it up against the step so that the edge of it can be used for additional prep space when working in the kitchen.  We’d also like to add 2-3 bar stools so people can sit at the island and help cook or hang out.

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In America, I had access to some crazy good deals in thrift stores and Craigslist.  Unfortunately, prices on used items are pretty high here in Italy so I’m relying on IKEA for less expensive materials for my DIY Kitchen Island. One of the major obstacles is that I need a very specific island height, and Ikea furniture is built to very standard sizes.  Standard kitchen cabinets are 36″ tall, although many professionals recommend a height of 42″ for islands that are used primarily for seating.  Our island will be placed just beside the step that goes up to the oven and sink, so a 36″ height island would be even shorter when used as a work surface from the platform.  Therefore, I’m trying to find IKEA pieces that are closer to 42″ tall. Here are the pieces that I’m debating currently.

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I was going to put the pieces either side by side and add a large countertop with an overhang so that people could sit on the opposite side of the cabinets OR put them back to back (making a two sided island) with an overhang on the side so that the seating would be next to the cabinets.  Allow me to share my incredibly professional and technical “photoshopping” of these two ideas with you.

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As you see, I’ll also need legs for both ideas to hold up the countertop edges.  I’m currently leaning towards the Billy bookcase solution since it is the only solution that is close to my preferred height, and I don’t have saws at my disposal to built a platform to lift the other cabinets up to the required height.  Another obstacle is finding a countertop on a budget.  Because I’m online shopping currently, I’m sticking to IKEA as a resource, but I might actually branch out to Leroy Merlin, our Italian version of Home Depot or Lowe’s.

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SÄLJAN countertop (25 5/8″ wide & 74″/98″ long)

If this weren’t a rental, I’d splurge on a proper and custom countertop (as well as a proper island).  However, I’m all about the cheapest find possible for this place.  I considered using plywood to create my own countertop, but I don’t have my saws here in Italy with me so I need to use what is already available.  Luckily, IKEA has super inexpensive countertops, like the Säljan, pictured above.  It comes in just white, faux white marble, faux black marble and more.  I discovered that putting two Billy bookcases side by side and topped with the Säljan countertop would be the right length and the right amount of overhang for seats.  I’m definitely leaning in that direction!  I’d love to hear other ideas!!

We Found a House…

House hunting in Italy has been an exciting adventure: touring new neighborhoods and towns and deciding which are would be best for our family.  We considered moving out into the “suburbs,” specifically the coastal town of Pozzuoli, but we decided that city life makes us happy and fills us with energy.  We know that once Esme gets older, she might need a yard and a cul-de-sac full of kids her age; however, for the time being she’s content with windows and a couple objects to bang together so we opted to stay in downtown Naples.  The neighborhoods of Naples vary in cleanliness, safety, and cost.  As was the case in Washington DC, my husband actually works outside of the city so we wanted a section of the city that was easy to commute in and out of.  We are very fortunate that my husband’s job provides us with a very generous living stipend to cover the cost of rent and utilities.  Because of this stipend, we decided to house hunt in a very safe and affluent section of the city called Vomero.  Vomero has a huge pedestrian walking area with shops, numerous grocery stores, several gyms, a castle, numerous “mommy and me” type classes, and more.  The downside of this neighborhood is that there are not many places available for rent.  Additionally, Vomero is not directly on the coast so the prime location means sacrificing water views (or any view).

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We saw 4 apartments in Vomero and narrowed it down to our top 2.  We called them “the big place” and “the small place.”  Creative, I know.  “The big place” was located in an 18th century palazzo.  It was a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, fully renovated home with stunning original woodwork and incredibly high ceilings.  It had 2 balconies, and the best part: one of the bedrooms was actually 2 stories.  We absolutely adored this home and met several times with the owner and her family.  They even gave Esme an adorable Italian-speaking teddy bear.  “The small place” was located 4 blocks away from “the big place” and was near a Crossfit gym, as well as a 24 hour access gym.  “The small place” was 3 bedrooms (plus a storage room), 2 bathrooms, and had a Midcentury vibe (although much of the character had been stripped in an effort to make it more renter-friendly).  It had a narrow front balcony, dedicated laundry room, and attic space for storage.

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Just the way that I’m talking about the two places makes it quite clear which one we preferred: the bigger one.  Unfortunately, it needed electrical work that could not be completed until October, and we wouldn’t be able to move in until November.  Time moves at a much different pace in Southern Italy.  We considered just waiting for it, but seeing as we arrived in Italy in June…hotel life with a mobile baby is not ideal.  Due to this setback, we ended up choosing “the small place.”  We are currently working on our contract with the landlord, and it will probably be 4-6 weeks until we can move in.  Again, time moves at a very different pace.  We’re looking forward to having our own space again though.  Our hearts are a little sad about not getting the other spot (it would’ve been perfect for guests), but we’re optimistic that we can make this place feel beautiful and homey in time.

House Hunting in Southern Italy: Pozzuoli

We decided to expand our home search out to the ‘burbs of Naples, specifically to the seaside town of Pozzuoli.  In 194 BC Pozzuoli was a Roman colony named Puteoli (from the Latin puteo meaning “to stink”).  Pozzuoli happens to lie in the center of the Campi Flegrei (a large volcanic area to the west of Naples, Italy).  One nearby dormant volcano Solfatara still emits jets of steam with a sulfurous fumes, hence the name.  No worries!  The modern town, itself, does not stink.  Instead, it has the vibe of a coastal town with shops and restaurants aplenty.

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As one would predict from the age of the city, Pozzuoli also has a multitude of historical sites, including Italy’s 3rd largest amphitheater (Amphitheatrum Flavium) and the Temple of Serapis (actually an old Roman marketplace).

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Many of the homes in Pozzuoli that we saw had yards, rooftop terraces, and even a second outdoor kitchen.  The nice part about expanding to the ‘burbs is the addition of space.  So much more space!

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This particular home is up on the mountainside, overlooking Pozzuoli.  We really wanted a walkable area, and we found it was quite difficult to find a 3 bedroom home in the busier downtown section of the city.

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We adored many of the homes that we saw in this beautiful city, but we didn’t need a ton of space.  Instead, we wanted a walkable location so that we didn’t need to pull the car out at all on the weekend.  That was one of our favorite things about living in DC!

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Had we been able to find a place in central Pozzuoli that was walkable to the main train stop, we probably would have chosen this city as our home.  We loved the history of it, as well as the coastal vibe.  Mainly though, we loved that there was so much nature for our tiny girl to explore.  Pozzuoli has lakes for fishing in volcanic craters,  a port with ferries to Capri and Ischia, and beaches, of course!

House Hunting in Southern Italy: Posillipo

We’ve been searching for the perfect home for our family in the Campagna region, and today’s home is in Posillipo, a peninsula that juts into the sea separating the bay of Naples from Pozzouli.  The view from Posillipo looks out over the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, and the island of Capri.

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Posillipo has been home to many of the wealthy in Naples for centuries, and that fact is obvious in many of the homes we saw in this area.  We discovered that many of the homes had gorgeous water views and opulent interiors.

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Normally when one rents in Italy, the home comes completely empty, and renters add their own kitchen, remodel bathrooms, repaint, install updated heating and cooling systems, and personalize the home to their standards.  This landlord is familiar with Americans though, so he is willing to repaint, update, and change out finishes to our liking.

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Depending on the location in Posillipo, it can be less walkable than homes in other parts of Naples.  Since Posillipo is nestled into a hill, it can be tricky to commute to from Mark’s work, as well as tricky to walk to activities for Esme and I.

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The main issue with this home and many of the historic homes in this area is the kitchen.  The kitchens are in the back of the home and incredibly small with a tiny bedroom connected to it. We discovered that the tiny room is the maid’s quarters and the kitchens are small because they are not for use of the homeowner but for their cook.

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The home that I’m sharing today has opened up the kitchen to the rest of the home (slightly), and the landlord would like to completely remodel the kitchen before the next renter.

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We still haven’t found “the one,” but we enjoy checking out what is available in the area. I can’t wait to share more of our house hunting tours!

House Hunting in Southern Italy: Chiaia

We are in the process of house hunting in the Campagna region of Southern Italy.  We are deciding between living in the major city of Naples (the birthplace of pizza and 3rd largest city in Italy) or one of the many suburban areas surrounding it.  Our personal “must have” list includes: a 3 bedroom apartment or single family home with 2 parking spots (preferably in a garage), a dishwasher, and a bath tub in a safe, walkable area.

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Our first home that I’m sharing is near the top of our price range, but it’s in the poshest section of Naples called Chiaia.  Chiaia is the best of city living: home to upscale shops, clean, classy, filled with excellent restaurants and green grocers, and close to the sea.  In fact, in the Neopolitan dialect Chiaia means “beach.”  In the 16th century, Via Chiaia was opened to connect Piazza Plebiscito to the coast.

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For history lovers, the area is home to Castel dell’Ovo, the oldest castle in Naples, and Parco Vergiliano a Piedrigrotta in Mergellina, supposedly the place where the Roman poet Virgil was buried.  It is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment with parking AND a sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea.  Also, check out those ceilings!  So high! And so beautiful!

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Tile is standard in Italian homes, and I’ve been hoarding Persian carpets for years!  Perfect for protecting our little one as she toddles about.  The bedrooms are ample in size, and one even has a walk-in closet (which is very rare in Italy).  I also appreciate aesthetically that the bedrooms have wood flooring.

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The bathrooms are plenty large and covered in tile.  I’ll certainly become a pro at cleaning grout.  Check out that giant bathtub though!  We didn’t have a bath tub in our DC condo, just a shower, and it was the main thing we missed about downtown city living!  I cannot wait to soak in a bubble bath again!

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The home also includes a dedicated laundry room with a washer and dryer and a kitchen with a pizza oven (and dishwasher).  I’m not a huge fan of the tile in the kitchen, but it does have marble countertops.  I would definitely bring in additional storage though, since the cabinets are small and older.2

Although I generally prefer homes with very modern finishes (modern is usually synonymous with NEW and DOESNT NEED REPAIRED), I do appreciate the beauty of this home.  I’ve also spoken to the previous tenants (also American), and they raved about how wonderful the landlord was (BIG BONUS).  I’ll finish up this listing though with two of my favorite things about this home: the CHARACTER.  This green built-in and those arches… OH MY!!!

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Packing to Move Abroad

I’ve moved abroad twice before this move to Italy: once to Japan and once to Spain.  Both moves were under very different circumstances: I made one move as a newly wed and the other as a single student.  Moving with a baby during this trip has been a very different experience, but I want to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gathered from each move.  Packing, in general, sucks.  It really does.  It’s not at all my favorite thing to do, but doing it with intention will make an overseas move much less stressful.  Each move, I’ve had to make 2 suitcases last between 2-6 months.  I’ve discovered that is incredibly easy to do, unless seasons change in that time period and/ or your child grows quickly out of clothing.  That being said, it gives me a perfect excuse to get to go shopping in my host country!

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Luggage Tips:  I have 3 pieces of luggage that I rely on for traveling (and moving) abroad.  I always bring a small backpack as my carry on.  This one from Ikea (under $5) folds down into a tiny pouch when not in use and has an interior pocket for organization.  I use it as my purse, diaper bag, reusable shopping bag, and everything in between!  I find it difficult to walk through an airport (or city) with 2 large rolling suitcases, so I prefer to have one hardshell spinner suitcase and one 70+ liter hiking backpack to improve maneuverability.  When I first moved abroad (to Spain as a student), I brought a rolling duffle bag that had a detachable backpack on one end.  That was probably the absolute BEST invention ever.  I can’t find them anywhere now, but I’d prefer that to a hardshell spinner suitcase any day.

Living abroad has the added benefit of MANY opportunities to travel, and I like having the above options for mini trips, as well.  I tend to use my hiking backpack for most trips since rolling a suitcase on cobblestone streets or up and down flights of stairs is a pain, but if I know that I’ll be traveling to highly accessible areas I bring the spinner suitcase.

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As far as clothing choices, that depends highly on personal style, season, country, activities, etc.  For this trip, I chose to pack super minimally since I knew I’d need to bring a lot of infant items.  I packed: a pair of jeans, a pair of longer jean shorts, and shorter jeans shorts to mix and match with a variety of tops and to pull over my swimsuit since it’s summertime.  I also brought a few cotton dresses (in case I wanted to look a bit more pulled together), 2 sets of pajamas, a summer hat, and some workout clothing.  SUPER minimal.  I also only packed 2 pairs of shoes: tennis shoes and brown leather sandals.  I had read in advance that Italians don’t wear flip-flops, except at the beach, so I have been using my dressier sandals for everything.

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The majority of my packing was dedicated to my daughter since she grows so quickly.  I packed her current size, one size up, and I actually mailed myself 2 sizes up (since I already had so much clothing in that size- thanks to hand-me-downs).  I also packed her toiletries since she has sensitive skin, and I wasn’t sure if the brands that have worked for her would be available immediately upon arrival.  We have 2-3 months until the rest of our clothing and furniture arrives, which my husband’s company shipped for us.  That means we have up to 2-3 months to find a home or apartment for rent so that we have a place for our household goods to be delivered!

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I’ll be sharing some of the homes we tour for rent here, but I also can answer any specific questions about packing and moving abroad.  I’m obviously leaving out so many steps in the process, like applying for our visas, getting our passports renewed and a baby passport (which is the cutest thing ever), packing up our household goods (and organizing everything), getting our cats shipped abroad (and getting their international health certificates), deciding what should stay in storage and what should ship, packing a “plane bag” for the baby (because she does NOT sleep on planes despite having her own seat), etc.  If you are going through the process currently and feeling overwhelmed, take a breath.  We felt overwhelmed with this move more than any other. In the end, everything will fall into place (even if it happens at the very last moment).  Most of all, just think of all the adventures that you’ll be having once you get to your destination.  It will be worth it!

Ciao DC. We Moved to Italy!

Four years ago, we purchased a little two bedroom condo in the heart of Logan Circle in Washington, DC.  This little condo has been home to so many adventures, parties, and firsts, including the place that we welcomed our first child.  We’ve done so much work to make it feel like “home,” and it has been the most perfect home for us.  We’ll miss our weekend walks to the White House and numerous museums, our frequent trips to the many grocery stores nearby, dinners at Le Diplomate, happy hours at Black Jack, and lounging in the circle on beautiful sunny days.  As much as we will miss our happy home, we are so excited to create new family adventures and experiences in our new home… in Naples, Italy.

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With this new adventure comes a lot of “TO DOs.”  We had to stage and sell our condo (DONE!), sell off some of our furniture (DONE!), schedule movers (DONE!), and figure out what to pack in our suitcases, since it will take a few months for our household goods to arrive to Italy.

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Empty Closet!

It’s been a quick journey, but we’ve been blessed throughout.  We had 6 weeks to sell our home, schedule movers and passports and everything else, and arrive.  Luckily, our little home sold immediately thanks to our great real estate agent.  Everything else has been a bit more challenging, but we understand that every adventure includes some challenges.

I’m excited to share our Italian housing search on here, as well as our decorating experience and some of our travels!  Until then, wish us luck for a smooth move and transition… we could use it! 🙂

Living with Exposed Brick (Things to Consider Before Exposing Your Brick)

As we’re moving out of our home, we’re reflecting on so many of our choices, including the exposed brick wall.  The first thing that people comment on when they walk into our home is the expansive brick wall that we exposed a few years back (and shared how to -not- clean brick).  It’s a fun feature that gives our condo some character, but there are certainly some things we wish we’d known before taking the “exposed brick” leap.

IMG_7923Pros: A well-designed interior includes color, pattern, shine, and TEXTURE.  Brick is a beautiful, organic way to add texture to a space.  It looks STYLISH and classic (subjective but hey).  It reveals the age and craftsmanship of a building.  It creates a loft-like vibe and is effortlessly chic.

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Cons:  DUST. Constant dust.  We sealed our wall with a professional grade sealer that is used in many restaurants, yet our wall constantly sheds dust.  We have to wipe it down and vacuum it frequently.  We also had to get a leather sofa and can’t have cream or white things near it.  Brick dust STAINS everything so we really have to be careful.  DARKNESS.  I’m sure in a light-filled space with large windows this wouldn’t be an issue.  However, we live in an English basement, and a dark brick wall made our home instantly feel… darker.  We ended up white washing it to minimize the impact.  ELECTRICAL.  Some people don’t mind the look of exposed electrical conduit, but I would have preferred ours to be hidden.  If you need an outlet on your brick wall, the path to it will be exposed.

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Would we still have exposed our brick?  YES.  We’re gluttons for punishment.  However, there are a few things we would have done differently.  1. We wouldn’t have repaired the brick.  Brick has a rustic look already, and the expense to repair it was not worth the cost.  2. We would have worked WAY less on cleaning it.  Muriatic acid, quick brush, sealed it (maybe 2-3 coats of sealant). DONE.  3. We would have shopped around more for the electrician that installed the outlet, in order to minimize the conduit.  We’ve since had other electricians out, and they all agree that we didn’t need the vertical conduit that is an eyesore in the center of the wall.  You live, and you learn. 

 

HOUZZ FEATURE

This past year has been incredibly life changing with the arrival of our daughter Esme.  A week after she was born I received an email from a Houzz contributor that wanted to feature our home.  As a perfectionist and a designer, I felt like our home wasn’t even close to being finished, but I also thought it would be a fun endeavor.  Within three weeks, we had a photographer at our door and our home was being photographed!

 

If you’ve never had your home photographed within a few weeks of giving birth, then you haven’t LIVED! Haha.  The poor photographer didn’t know what he was walking into.  I haggardly greeted him at the door with a screaming infant in my arms and had to hide away immediately to nurse her.  It was a miracle that my home was semi-clean at all!

 

Since our home is an English basement condo, lighting for photography can be tricky.  Additionally, we have a long wall of exposed brick that makes our home even darker, and the day that the photographer came was a dark, rainy afternoon.  Despite these obstacles, I was so impressed at how the images turned out!

 

My mother-in-law was visiting during the shoot (and I still wasn’t cleared to drive due to my recent emergency c-section) so I didn’t do anything extra to style our home for the feature, except add some fruit in the kitchen!  Truthfully, that fruit was still there a month later, hardened and spoiled.  Poor little lemons and limes…

 

It makes me laugh looking back because they included a picture of my husband, daughter, and myself… and we look EXHAUSTED.  I look very “postpartum,” my newborn daughter is screaming, and my husband hadn’t slept in a few weeks.  It’s a very REAL representation of that moment.

 

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity though to have our home featured.  Our home looks so different now, as it’s had to change to accommodate an active, mobile child.  Having images from such a momentous, life-changing period is truly a gift that I will treasure.